Ombudsperson made excellent points

Appreciation for printing the Castlegar News article about BC Ombudsperson, Kim Carter's visit to Castlegar.

First of all I want to thank the Trail Times for running an excerpt from an excellent article from your “sister newspaper”, the Castlegar News, about the September 13 presentation in Castlegar by BC Ombudsperson Kim Carter.   The full article and photo can be accessed at  www.castlegarnews.com (just put “Ombudsperson” in the search line)

After hearing the presentation, I was most impressed with the scope and thoroughness of the Ombudsperson’s recent investigation into the state of seniors’ care in our province.  This landmark study, which included extensive consultation with seniors and professionals throughout BC,  highlighted the serious problems seniors face in accessing affordable, high quality home and community based services such as home support, home nursing and residential care.

Following the investigation a final report “The Best of Care, Getting it Right for Seniors in BC” was issued with 176 recommendations to improve seniors’ care.

The full report is available online at www.bcombudsperson.ca/seniors

The provincial government’s stated goal is to support seniors as they age so that they live safely and comfortably in their own homes and communities. However, to date, the government  refuses to commit the resources and infrastructure needed  to rebuild BC’s Home and Community care system as well as to implement the comprehensive recommendations in the Ombudsperson’ report.

We strongly encourage the Trail Times to continue to follow this issue and, from time to time to publish articles about the situation in Trail with regard to seniors’ care. There are many knowledgeable people in the community – most especially seniors – who know what is and isn’t happening and would be very supportive of having a public forum within the paper to highlight issues and solutions.

Health Care Advocacy groups such as Trail’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Seniors (SPCS) and Castlegar District Health Watch (CDHW) will also continue to promote implementation of this report, especially as it pertains to local needs.

We strongly encourage readers of this paper to contact the BC Health Minister, Margaret MacDiarmid,  IHA CEO, Dr. R. Halpenny,  and local MLA & Seniors’ Critic, Katrine Conroy, with your thoughts and concerns about  “Getting it Right for Seniors” in the West Kootenay.

Please contact myself, Trail SPCS Executive Member, Carol Albo 250-362-5767 or come to the next Trail SPCS General Meeting if you want more information, including addresses for these individuals, a print copy of the report or an excellent 14-page summary.

Bud Godderis

Castlegar